Starting a business with a disability

Do you have a physical or intellectual disability and want to start a business? Then it is good to know that there are schemes to help you start your business. You can read more about them in this article.

Starting your own business while on benefits

Are you the recipient of Wajong, WIA, WAO, WAZ, or Sickness Benefits Act benefits? Then you must first discuss your plans with your employment consultant at the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). You submit your plans and together you explore whether entrepreneurship is for you. Then make arrangements with your counsellor about the route and discuss the conditions. The income from your business is often deducted from your benefit.

Do you need money to start your business and canot get a bank loan? UWV may help you by providing you with a loan or various allowances.

  • Start-up loan (starterskrediet): a loan to pay the costs for resources.
  • Preparation loan (voorbereidingskrediet): a loan to pay for costs you incur in preparing to start your business.

It is also sometimes possible to get reimbursement from UWV for aids or extra support. For example, an adapted office chair or a sign language interpreter.

Insurance in case of illness or incapacity for work

With your own business, you are not automatically insured for benefits in case of illness or incapacity for work. You have to arrange this yourself.

Do you encounter strict acceptance rules or high premiums with insurance companies? Then check with the UWV Employee Insurance Agency what types of insurance (in Dutch) are available in your situation.

Tax relief for new companies

With the tax relief for new companies (startersaftrek), you pay less income tax. A number of conditions apply. For instance, you have to stick to the hours criterion. A starter with a disability may qualify for a reduced hours criterion (in Dutch). Instead of the usual 1225 hours, you must then spend at least 800 hours a year on your business.

Assistance and support

There are several initiatives available to assist and support you as a new business owner with a disability. For example, Onbeperkt Ondernemend (in Dutch). Talented and motivated jobseekers with a disability and entrepreneurs with a disability get support from a mentor.

Interest group Incluvisie (in Dutch) also helps you explore entrepreneurial opportunities. They provide information and put you in contact with other entrepreneurs with disabilities.

Running a business from your home

Starting from your own home may be a good and safe choice for you. Consult your plan with your municipality. Sometimes permission is needed or laws and regulations apply, such as for a shop at home. UWV offers various facilities (in Dutch) to help you work from home. Such as appliances and workplace adjustments. 

Transport to work

If you do not start from home, or if you have to go somewhere for an appointment, there are arrangements for transport (in Dutch). For example, compensation for taxi costs.

General starter information

In addition to the above topics, as a starter you will also face: